Golden egg of protection

golden egg

Remember my picture from last week, about my inner rebel?

Well, here it is again, but this time with a Golden Egg around it, thanks to the daily meditations I’ve been listening to, from the Happy Goddessa!

Thank you, Galitta! I think that the Golden Egg meditation, from your Happiness Challenge, helped me get through this very busy week, so far!

Starting the day with a 7-minute meditation – for two weeks already – is a real change for me, especially as I tend to like to press the snooze button as much as possible, before dragging myself out of bed and into a warm shower, because I can’t keep warm enough in this cold country in the winter. So, I veered from my norm, by doing this ‘positive action’ each morning! It was well worth missing that extra few minutes of morning snooze time!

What is “The Golden Egg?”

It’s the protective and yet invisible egg with golden, syrupy light that surrounds me, as I go through my day, letting in only the positive influences and keeping out anything irritating, punishing, stressful. In addition, it also allows me to let out my old habits, beliefs and patterns, so in addition to the protection from the outside world, neither will I do myself any harm as I go out into the world.

What’s my egg made of?

Actually, I’m very lucky – I was thinking of using some gold eye shadow that I have, but then I spotted this glittery nail polish – and voila! The glittery golden egg was easily added to my watercolor picture! Sometimes, it’s all about finding an easy solution, not having to go downstairs and dig into my acrylic paints and find a paint brush, use it, wash out the paint brush, etc. Someone reminded me today of something that Bill Gates once said:bill gates

The Golden Egg has been my survival mechanism this week.

And being ‘lazy’ – or allowing myself to do a ‘good enough job.’ And it’s worked! Yay! Thank you Happy Goddessa! I’m happy to have you as a positive influence in my life! (And Billy of course, too! – meme taken from: https://me.me/)

Side Effects

sky with lamp

She sat in front of me, her hair shiny and straight, a tint of red lipstick on her thin lips, black polished nails. I could see she was nervous by the red blush spots on her pale, smooth neck.

“What is your take on this industry?” asks my co-assessor, and I glance at her. Where is that question coming from? Does it have anything to do with the assessment at all? I try to remember the questions we prepared. I look back at the student. She is talking, answering the question confidently, looking at my colleague.

“Yes, well, you know… blah, blah, blah…” I can’t actually hear the words she is speaking. It’s almost like she’s speaking in Mandarin and all I can do is observe her body language.

I squirm in my seat, take the rubber orange lid off my recyclable coffee cup and take a sip of the lukewarm tea. It tastes like nothing.

“So, what is your biggest takeaway from this experience?,” the student is being asked.

She raises her eyebrows and touches her mouth briefly, and then clasping one hand with the other, her nails so black and shiny, neat and competent, she sets off again, explaining all she knows and has learned. Again, I can’t understand anything except my own voice telling me that she obviously knows what she’s on about. And another voice wondering why she has stopped looking in my direction.

I look down at my own hands. They are turning a strange color. I have no nail polish, as that would only accentuate how unsightly my fingertips are. I see something rough on the back of my hands and brush at it. I wonder if it’s from the salmon I scaled yesterday. How in the heck did that stay on through my shower? But it doesn’t brush off.

I glance at my watch. We are grossly late. The school will close soon. I have been here almost all day. My mind is buzzing. I don’t know about them, but I want this assessment to be over. I look at the pile of papers on my desk.

“Do you have a question for her?” my colleague asks me.

“Um, yes, of course.” I am not sure which page we are looking at now. I flip through more papers, but half of them fall on the floor. As I reach over, to pick them up, my cup tips over and soaks everything on the table, including my laptop.

“Don’t worry,” says my colleague, “Let me go get some paper towels.” She steps out, ever so elegantly, looking fresh and together, although she’s been at school all day, doing numerous assessments. I admire her. Her sleek black hair, her bright eyes, her clever questions.

Meantime, the student is looking at me with what she probably hopes is a neutral expression, but I can read the dismay behind her eyes.

I look down at my hands and see they are now covered in scales. And my skin seems to have taken on a green hue. I quickly pull the sleeve of my jacket over my hands, and push my hands down under the table between us.

“Well, it seems we’ve covered everything now. All that’s left is to check your ID, you do have that with you, don’t you?” I ask her. I have pulled this last request out of nowhere, like a magician who suddenly realizes he’s got a rabbit in his cage and a parrot in his hat.

She pulls out her ID card and presents it to me. The picture is a few years old. She used to have red hair, but now it’s dyed that popular greyish blond, very glamorous in young girls in their mid-20s, but for us mid-aged ladies, it’s the natural color we try to cover up with any other shade.

“Um hum,” I mutter, leaning over to look at it. “Wait, let me get my glasses. Oh, your middle name is Sandy?” She leans over to look at it.

“Sandra.” She answers.

“Oh yes,” I answer and wait for my savior co-assessor to return. I don’t know how I got here, but hope to hell I can leave soon and get to a doctor to tend to my green skin and scales.

They told me that the medication might have some strange side effects.

This story was inspired by the prompts on this site: OnLine Writing Guild (OLWG), prompts #85

Number of the week: 37

 

Encouraged by the Sun

sunshineIt’s no wonder our ancestors worshipped the sun gods. I do too, now!

Woke up encouraged, though it took a while to fall asleep.
The sounds of the meditation didn’t do the trick, I thought.
But waking up, even in the darkness of the ‘dawn’
I felt, okay. I felt good enough. Even quite ‘well,’
And listened obediently to a morning meditation
Where I am filled with golden light,
Encompassed in a golden eggshell.
I got out of bed, smiling.
Smiling!
I didn’t feel exhausted.
For a change.
I put on my power suit
and I’m going to work.
I can do this,
Today.

PS. Thank you, sun!

Bring it on!

bed stand

Is it already 2019? How do the years jump past so fast?
Is this a poem or a post?
Is my brain on overdrive or overwork?
Will the sound of a train in the distance elicit sweet memories or trauma?

Everything is questionable.
Nothing is certain.
I woke up this morning to a sweet sensation of connection
And peacefulness.
And immediately questioned how long that would last.
I had dreams upon dreams
But they all slipped away.

I called the therapist
But she doesn’t have time
Yet
And the Company Doctor
can see me on Friday, is that a small yay?

One minute I think ‘all is fine, I can do this’
Next minute I’m choked up and my brain is buzzing.
My ears are warm
My heart is pumping
My eyes are blurring – it could be the contacts – they should be changed soon.

I read through my inbox just now.
Searching desperately for word from the Happy Goddessa who promises me that in 21 days I’ll have positive change. But her email isn’t here, and I don’t know
if I have the energy to fix her bugs.
I can hardly fix my own.

The meditation for sleep last night worked wonders
Along with the purple sleeping pill
And my newly decorated bed stand.
And no TV time, for a change.
No binging.
Just reading.
Helping myself to get to a good place.

What’s wrong with you, Audrey?
That gremlin shouts.
Just do what you have to.
Have to
Should
Need to
They are suffocating me – all these obligations.
I have an overpowering need to break free
To do something completely different
For a change.

But it’s so stormy outside,
I don’t dare face the weather.
I turn up the heat and drink tea
And coffee
And a smoothie
And think about going out.
And I do some of what I have to do.
I read my mails.
Most of my mails.
Some I ignore.
Some I can’t handle.
Thankfully, the battery on my laptop dies. It’s a respite.

There are too many questions.
Too many people with too many needs
Requests, more obligations.
Things to do.
They can carry me under
Like the undertow
On a sunny day,
When you think that
All is fine
And go out for a swim
In the warm, calm waters
But then…

Can’t return to shore, no matter how hard you try
Can’t shout because no one is listening.
Or if they hear you, they don’t understand what the problem is.
After all, you’re a great swimmer, aren’t you?

The chest is achy. Not the chest. It’s mine.
My chest. There’s a brick on top of it.
I’m stuffed with stuffing.
I’m a turkey roast
But not as tasty.

Turkey roasts just wait to be roasted
And carved
And eaten.
I hate waiting, so that can’t be me.

Crisis occurs when things need to change.
Okay, I’m ready.
Here I am.
Bring

            it

                   on.

I’m not going to (or anywhere near) Nashville*

On Leadership and Vulnerability

Rebel or Leader? Or just me?
Finding my place in the world – Image by Audrey Weinberg #watercolor

On Dr. Phil, I recently saw Tim, a young man who had been convicted of domestic battery, (following a complaint by his mother to the police), say, “No, I don’t want to go to Nashville.” In Nashville, there is a center where he could get ‘free’ coaching, (paid for by Dr. Phil), to learn to let go of his anger against his mother, focus on the ‘here and now’ and finally begin to move forward with his life.

Why do I find it so hard to get the help I need?
(and: Am I the only one who feels this way?)

I don’t have issues with my mother, and I haven’t ever been convicted of battery – domestic or otherwise – but still I bring this up now because when I asked my husband – what I should write about, he said: “Write about your issues with your work and what’s bothering you.” Then he added, jokingly, “I’m also going to offer you coaching… in Nashville,” my immediate response was a feisty: “I’m not going to Nashville.”

When did all this start?

I am wondering when this all began, and it’s hard to pinpoint the actual moment. Three years ago I developed a frozen shoulder, which all the physiotherapists and doctors agreed was connected to stress. For years, my dentist has been warning me about my ‘bad grinding habit’ and how it’s ruining my teeth. “Do you have stress?” He asks me, every time I meet him, about once every half a year, or more often, when my teeth crumble under the pressure and I need emergency care.

However, if I step back, and look at my life, I see an almost picture perfect view of what a woman my age should expect from her life. (By the way, how much do I hate the phrase I just used “a woman my age?” ARGH) My husband of now three years is caring, understanding and funny. He’s there for me. My two ‘kids,’ who are, by now, young adults, are both in University and doing very well; well-adjusted and healthy. I have a job I love, a couple of them, in fact: lecturing at University, Coordinating the Personal Development first year modules, and also work asa Life Coach/Therapist. (Big shout out to all the ‘Wounded Healers’ out there).

Interruptions: I can’t take them

As I write this, my son of 18 has woken up in the room next to mine. He is playing his music at full blast as he gets up, showers and gets ready to go downstairs. I say loudly, through my closed door and his, “Turn down the music.”

No real response. As he moves around, he keeps his music on loud, singing along to it. I have my soft ‘Concentration Music’ playlist on as I write. I try to ignore his music until I cannot bear it any longer and I shout out to him through the closed door, “Dai Kvar!” which in Hebrew means “Enough already!”

And now my life is not picture perfect anymore and I feel angry and stressed. My heart is pounding in my chest and I want to go over and become a battering mother. I wonder why this smart, wise, confident young man I raised can’t be considerate enough to use the earphones he has, or lower his music? I take in a few deep breaths and decide to go out and talk to him.

What happens when I ask (properly) for what I need?

I’m back.

  • Apparently, he didn’t even hear my shout of “Enough already.”
  • He didn’t know I was in the room next to his, writing.
  • He didn’t hear my calming music, (as his was far too loud).

But now that he does know, he has shut off his music and is taking his shower quietly.

‘It’s all about communicating your needs,’ a voice in my head tells me, and I feel like crying.

This is a perfect example of how I am experiencing many things in life right now.

I expect things to happen in a certain way, but when they don’t, I get extremely irritated, frustrated and I lash out. Then, whoever is on the receiving end of my anger is totally confused and wondering – “Now where the heck did that come from?”

What are boundaries and how do I get them?

Funny that I thought I wasdone being a people-pleaser years ago. But once that is ingrained in you from an early age, let’s say, about age 1.5 when I was toilet trained, or 2 when my mother had an emergency operation and I was left with an aunt I didn’t know very well, or when my parents took in a foster child when I was about 2.5 and this foster baby cried night and day due to a lactose allergy, well perhaps it’s not easy to let go and claim ‘my place’ in the world.

Maybe having such young parents – 21 and 22 – when I was born had an influence on who I became. Maybe it’s Dr. Spock’s fault, and I know he has since revised his message to young parents, but still, the damage is done, and here I am, unable to focus on what I want or need, only to feel the intense anger, frustration and irritation of everything that doesn’t feel right to me. I’m a better rebel than a leader.

Let me repeat that for emphasis because it sounds so right.

I am a better rebel than a leader.

Good insight, Audrey. Well done. (very faint smile).

Now, the next question is whether to fight that or embrace it? Do I want to use my strengths as a rebel? Be a fighter, a subversive, one to always swim against the current? I’m a good swimmer, too, so don’t worry about that!

Or do I want to slowly begin the uphill climb to tell my small rebel self that its work is done (thank you for your help in surviving up to now) and now focus on becoming a leader, which involves setting my expectations and boundaries clearly from the beginning?

(I still think I’m a better swimmer than a hiker, but in the Northern countries, where I now reside, the water is just too damn cold!)

And, rereading this, I realize that I have just set up myself for two difficult options: Rebel (swim against the current) or Lead (climb the damn hill). What if I don’t choose either and I just ‘am’? Is that an option, I ask myself? At least for now? Or is there something in me that always searches for that extra challenge?

Let me just end this with two Louise Hay-type affirmations of my own:

  • I set my expectations and boundaries clearly to those around me.
  • I knowingly decide what I want to be, do and accomplish in my own proactive and creative way.

 

*P.S. Today in the Dutch news there is an article about a “Nashville declaration,” signed by some very conservative politicians in the Netherlands, against gay rights. I am definitely NOT on that side of the fence…!

20 years ago today – for Yarden

yarden image 2018

I should be haemorrhaging blood

Through my ears,

Screaming in agonizing pain,

Howling in sadness;

But 20 years have passed

Since I wrapped you last

in that soft striped yellow sheet

and they took you away.

 

Pain subsides over time.

Not at first, but

Gradually, like surf after a storm,

After a tsunami, a typhoon, a hurricane

Katrina

At first it’s ruins and disaster

Misery

The world an altered reality.

 

Eventually, waves no longer crash

With fury, but damage remains

The basement still flooded

The mildew creeping up the walls

And not wanting to do anything

At all

To fix it.

 

Years pass. Decades. I still weep

hard, at other people’s funerals

I still ache in the depths,

In my heart.

My body feels an emptiness

It can’t replace.

But

 

There is life

Out here, in my world

Laughter and nonsense

And many other gifts you granted me,

When I became your mom.

There is sea and sun

 

Friendships,

Inner wisdom,

Tranquility, perspective.

I share my daily being:

You inside of me

And me inside the world.

 

Audrey Gran Weinberg

For my son, Yarden Weinberg 1994-1998

I is for Irritated (A – Z challenge)

Dealing with Poor Customer Service

This is taken from the email that I just sent to Fietsenwinkel.nl

Dear Sir/Madam,

For the record:

  1. irritation
    art by:  Irritated Audrey

    Last week, Monday – June 4th – around 11:00 am, I called Fietsenwinkel by phone and explainedmy problem: My electric part of the bike – the part that switches speeds – was not working properly. It turns on, and allows me to ride only in ‘eco’ gear. I would like to change electric speeds, of course, so I wanted this fixed.I was told it would take 48 hours to get a response from the bike store or from Fietsenwinkel.

  2. On Wednesday afternoon, when I had not yet heard from your company, I called again, and was told that you are handing my request and it’s very busy this time of year.At this time (and by email), I indicated that my email had changed and is now: aXXXX@ziggo.nl

  3. On Friday afternoon, 8 June, I called again and this time was told that an email had been sent to me (to the wrong/ previous email address) and that I should contact Parnassus bike store.

  4. I contacted the bike store and spoke to a nice young man who said that I could bring in my bike “when I wanted, either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.” Because it was my birthday on Sunday, I was thinking of bringing it in on Monday, but we didn’t make a specific appointment, which the guy said was fine. He told me to come in at my convenience.

  5. On Sunday (my birthday – June 10th), I was contacted by a very angry sounding man from Parnassus bikes, who asked why I missed my appointment on Saturday. I explained to him that we hadn’t made a specific appointment and he replied that ‘this was not how things worked in his shop’. Afterwards, when I tried to make an appointment – he said I could not come on Monday, but rather on Tuesday or Wednesday. (But I work those days, as a teacher, so I asked if it was possible to bring in the bike on Monday after all), and he said that I was very inflexible and that if it’s ‘only Monday then on Monday the 18th.’ By this time, I was feeling a little bit chastened, like I was a bad child…’

  6. Then — in this same conversation – i mentioned to him that it was a problem with the electric part of the bike, because he mentioned ‘versnelling (gears)’ – but i said – it’s NOT the versnelling – it’s the electricity part of the bike, where you change gears/speeds from Eco mode to Turbo, Sport, etc. (as I wrote in my email to Fietsenwinkel).
    This caused the man at Parnassus to get even more angry at me – that I didn’t know the difference between a ‘versnelling (gear)’ and ‘ondersteuning (support).’ Now, It’s true that my Masters in Business Admin did not give me this knowledge – and so I don’t think it’s fair that I need to know the exact terms for what is going wrong with my bike, is it? However, because I apparently got the name of the problem wrong, he said I cannot bring in my bike until he contacts Fietsenwinkel and a new appointment is made ‘for the right thing – for the ondersteuning’.

  7. Today I received an email from Fietsenwinkel asking my I missed my appointment at Parnassus bikes -and can I call them to make an appointment….!!!

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